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The Neighbor (2016)

Review by CJ

Director:
Marcus Dunstan

Starring:
Josh Stewart, Alex Essoe, Bill Engvall, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Luke Edwards

Other notable appearances:
Skipp Sudduth, Melissa Bolona

Running time:
87 minutes

 

John (Stewart) is a former soldier who has been forced into helping his uncle with his drug trafficking operation. When he comes home from a business meeting, John finds his wife Rosie (Essoe) missing. John’s suspicions take him to his neighbour’s basement where he finds more than he bargained for.

The Neighbor feels like a very tame mash-up between a House of 1,000 Corpses and Breakdown with a grindhouse vibe, mostly due to the interjected scratchy home videos.

While it’s not a totally unenjoyable film, The Neighbor doesn’t do much to build suspense or tell a particularly interesting story. It had the potential to be a cult classic in the gore porn genre akin to the previously mentioned House of 1,000 Corpses, but — while the film doesn’t shy from blood — there is very little in the way of gore. It had the potential to be a great psychological thriller, but there’s just not enough suspense.

The lack of suspense can be attributed, at least in part, to the characters that aren’t unlikeable but you still don’t really care about what happens to them. This isn’t helped by the poor on-screen chemistry between the two protagonists and a general stiffness to all of the acting in The Neighbor.

The Neighbor is not a great film, but it wasn’t painful to watch all the way through and it did illicit mild curiosity. Once I had started, I needed to know how it ended — even though it was pretty obvious from the get go. I wouldn’t recommend that you go out of your way to watch this one but if you really love thrillers and don’t mind them lacking in suspense,  The Neighbor has the benefit of not feeling overly long.

Rating:

“Stop being nosy, babe.”

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